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Twenty years of prairie reconstruction

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- Twenty years ago, the Kauffman Museum began developing the tallgrass prairie reconstruction found at the museum’s entrance.

In prairie terms, 20 years isn’t a long time. So how did they do that? On Sunday, Sept. 12, the third event in a four-month anniversary celebration will try to answer that question. At the Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum lecture, scheduled from 3:30-4:30, Dr. Dwight Platt, professor emeritus of biology at Bethel College, and Lorna Harder, biology and computer information technology instructor at Hesston College, will give an illustrated presentation entitled "The Kauffman Museum Prairie Reconstruction: How Do You Make Nature Hurry Up?" They will review the history of the prairie reconstruction and discuss how nature assembles a prairie plant community.

Kamala Platt will read prairie poetry to open the presentation, which will also include special recognition of key individuals who are involved in the maintenance of, and who did initial work to establish, the prairie reconstruction.

This particular Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum is timed to coincide with Kauffman Museum’s annual meeting, which will begin at 2:00 on Sunday, Sept. 12.

At the annual meeting, Floyd Bartel, North Newton, immediate past president of the Kauffman Museum board, will recognize board members Jane Hershberger, Susan Koehn and Ellen Samuelson, all of Newton, each of whom served six years, as well as newly elected board members Amanda Balzer, public information officer and grants coordinator for the city of Newton, Dr. Ryan Simmonds, an optometrist in Newton, and Nada Voth, a retired teacher from Walton. New board officers are Melvin Epp (president), Whitewater, a research scientist at the Center for the Improvement of Human Functioning International in Wichita, Jacob D. Goering (vice president), North Newton, emeritus professor of human development at the University of Maryland, and Karen Penner (secretary), retired legal professional from Newton.

Both the annual meeting and the Sunday-Afternoon-at-the- Museum event are free and open to the public. The Kauffman Museum is located at 27th and North Main in North Newton. For more information, call (316) 283-1612.

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